Homes can be protected from tornadoes

May 31, 2012 at 1:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- A high-wind safe room can protect families from the most intense tornadoes, a U.S. building trade group says.

The International Code Council Foundation says its Building Safety Month provides guidance to the public about high-wind events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

"The International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters is a tool to help communities protect their residents from disasters and consolidates previous references published by National Storm Shelter Association, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross," Rick Weiland chief executive officer of the International Code Council said in a statement. "A properly built, high-wind, safe room can protect from the most intense tornadoes, hurricanes and similar natural disasters. Safe rooms can be designed to withstand winds up to 250 mph, offering safe refuge for families in the path of high-wind events."

A closet, bathroom, laundry area or storage room can be enhanced to serve as a safe room, Weiland said.

Building Safety Month Disaster Safety & Awareness co-sponsor, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, urges homeowners to "Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose" by building or retrofitting interior spaces in their homes to safe-room standards. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and FEMA are partnering with the International Code Council Foundation to provide resources, tips and videos available online at www.buildingsafetymonth.org.

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